Originally blogged at Flames Jambalaya.
What word describes the Calgary Flames' Season? Would it be underachievers? Would it be unprepared? Would it be disappointment? More than likely, all three of those words come to mind for most Flames fans. If I was honest, maybe some other words, which I cannot use here.
So what happened? If I ask most of you their biggest problem, you would say goaltending.
Some of you might put it on the defense. Way too many giveaways in the offensive and defensive zones. Defensive breakdowns were all too common.
Often there are no forwards within miles to back up the goalie. Too many floaters on the Flames this season. Forwards are staying up in the neutral zone waiting for the puck to come to them. For some reason, this team’s grit has long gone south for the season.
Some may say the offensive scoring has to improve. Let's face facts. Outside of Johnny Hockey, would you give anyone a passing grade? No doubt this puts a lot of pressure on the goaltender. Most nights, the Flames score only one or two goals.
That being said, the defense has taken a beating this season. Most of the time they were playing like they were walking on eggshells. The tender was guaranteed to give up at least one bad goal a game.
The defense is under pressure to play 100 percent mistake free because they have no confidence in the Goalies. Add the pressure of the offense not being proficient enough to overcome inept goaltending.
All of this causes the enormous pressure on the defense not to make mistakes. They jump at every chance they can, which usually results in way too many 2-on-1’s.
Then there is the other issue; their prima donna attitude. In other words, certain players are not willing to do what it takes to win. Which is not being taken well by certain vets in the locker room.
If the rumors of a divided locker room are true, there could be a much deeper problem. I have not been able to confirm it, but rumors of the Flames divided locker room are out there.
None of these problems can excuse the Flames. There is way too much talent on this team for them to have such a poor season.